PUSL.- On July 7ththe 12th Summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU) took place in Nigeria’s Niamey. In this summit the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was launched. 54 of the 55 member states of the African Union ratified it. Eritreia is the only member state that is not to part of the trading bloc.
The AU says that the AfCFTA will create the world’s largest free trade area and lead to around a 60% boost in intra-African trade by 2022.
According to research by the African Development Bank in 2014 only 16% of international trade by African countries takes place between African countries.
Morocco ratified the agreement but Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom made immediate statements saying that although they ratified the AfCFTA, “Morocco’s signature and ratification of the agreement must be seen as separate from its stance on the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Democratic Republic (SADR)”.
The ratification of the AFCFTA does not mean that Morocco will respect what it has signed because it will continue to want to exploit and commercialize illegally obtained products and resources from the occupied territories of Western Sahara.